Archive for the 'Archive' Category

Mrs. International

Mrs. International 1989 contestants visit the DMA.

Mrs. International 1989 contestants visit the DMA.

I was searching the archives for a fun photo to share and decided on the above. Unfortunately, like many photos in the archives, it was essentially unidentified, because in this case, I discovered that the photo was misidentified.

The caption on the back of the photo reads “Mrs. America #18 1980.” I tried to find some additional context by using the The Dallas Morning News archives, something along the lines of ‘Mrs. America contestants visit museum,’ or even ‘Mrs. America pageant held in Dallas,’ but there was nothing. A search for the history of the Mrs. America pageant showed that it was held in Las Vegas, so a visit to the DMA seemed highly unlikely. Then, with both the pageant and date now in question, I took a closer look at the titles on the sashes, and searched for “Mrs. Texas International.”

I was now fairly certain that the women in the photo were contestants in the Mrs. International pageant, which was also licensed as Mrs. USA, but I still didn’t have a date. I started to search the states visible on the sashes of the  Mrs. International pageant participants in hopes of identifying one of them to determine the date. Luckily for me, the Mrs. Ohio website came through and included past winners with photos. I was able to identify Mrs. Ohio as 1989 winner Ruth Coffman, thus providing the date for the photo.

In addition to an amusing image, this became a fun way to demonstrate just one of the many types of things I do in the DMA Archives.

Hillary Bober is the Archivist for the Dallas Museum of Art.

Ruby Anniversary

Dr. Anne Bromberg, The Cecil and Ida Green Curator of Ancient and Asian Art at the DMA, is celebrating forty years at the Museum this year. Anne began her time at the Museum in 1975, when the building was located in Fair Park and we still went by the name Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Over the course of her career, she has served under six Museum directors—Harry Parker, Rick Brettell, Jay Gates, Jack Lane, Bonnie Pitman, and Max Anderson; seen building moves and expansions; acted as curator on some of the Museum’s most popular exhibitions; and entertained visitors with her exciting and lively talks and tours. Anne’s husband, Alan Bromberg, and his family, notably his mother, Juanita (Cookie) Bromberg, always supported her career and the Museum throughout her years of service. Last week, DMA staff, friends, and former colleagues came together to celebrate Anne’s remarkable and colorful career with the DMA.



Kimberly Daniell is the Manager of Communications and Public Affairs at the DMA.

Rare Books

The DMA’s Mayer Library staff spent the last two months cataloging books from the Reves Library. At the start of the project, only one hundred or so books from the Reves Collection were searchable in the library’s catalog.  We knew there were important books that had not yet been entered that could significantly improve research on the collection, if only they were more accessible. Taking advantage of the temporary closure of the Reves Grand Salon and Library for refurbishment this past February, we embarked on a project to do just that.

It required removing all nine hundred and fifty art and antiquarian books from the shelves in the Reves Library, transferring them on book carts through the Museum galleries to the Mayer Library, and then, one by one, cataloging each book in the library’s database. To give you a sense of how large an endeavor this was, our two catalogers usually catalog three hundred books in the same time frame.

Reves Library after books to be cataloged were moved out.

Reves Library after books to be cataloged were moved out

Reves books in the library workroom, their home during the cataloging project.

Reves books in the library workroom, their home during the cataloging project

Most of the books in the Reves Library are art related, with an emphasis on areas in which the couple collected, including many rare gallery and exhibition catalogues. The library also contains collections of writings by Winston Churchill, translations of Emery Reves’ Anatomy of Peace, and a significant collection of antiquarian books—one of the earliest dating back to 1547, Il Petrarcha con l’espositione d’Alessandro Vellutello, a commentary on Petrarch’s Rerum vulgarium fragmenta.

As the project progressed, interesting findings began to emerge that brought Wendy and Emery Reves and the history of the DMA collection to life. For example, auction catalogs annotated by Emery Reves gave us a glimpse into their collecting habits and interests. Lot 18 of this Sotheby’s catalogue from 1974 was Edouard Manet’s Portrait of Isabelle Lemonnier with a Muff, now in the DMA’s collection; however, it wasn’t Wendy and Emery Reves who purchased it. A close-up of the annotation reads “100,000 Schmit (Paris).” That is a reference to Galerie Schmit. According to the provenance for this painting, it was then acquired by Mr. and Mrs. Algur Meadows, who gifted it to the DMA in 1978.

Page of the Sotheby's catalog showing the Manet

Page of the Sotheby’s catalog showing the Manet

The keen eye of our cataloger discovered this bookplate of Paul Iribe, a French fashion illustrator and interior designer, on the last page of Spinoza’s Ethique. Iribe died in 1935 while visiting Coco Chanel at La Pausa, the French Riviera villa later owned by Wendy and Emery Reves.

Paul Iribe bookplate

Paul Iribe bookplate

With a mix of satisfaction, relief, and a tinge of sadness, the books have all been returned to the shelves of the new and improved Reves Library.

You can browse through a list of the rest of the books from the Reves Collection in the library’s online catalog.

Jenny Stone is the Librarian at the Dallas Museum of Art.


You Are Invited to a Ball

This year’s Art Ball, held this past Saturday, marks the 50th occurrence of the event, which started as the Beaux Arts Ball in 1962. Each Ball usually has a theme, with invitations to match. Below are a few of my favorites from the 1960s and 70s, when the Museum was located in Fair Park.



The first Beaux Arts Ball, April 27, 1962.

The first Beaux Arts Ball, held on April 27, 1962


Tlaloc's Frolic held on April 27, 1968.

Tlaloc’s Frolic, held on April 27, 1968


A Mad Hatter's Hoedown held on May 1, 1971.

A Mad Hatter’s Hoedown, held on May 1, 1971


A Celebration of the Dragon held on April 7, 1973

A Celebration of the Dragon, held on April 7, 1973



A Deco Dance held on April 26, 1975

A Deco Dance, held on April 26, 1975


The Last Hurrah held on May 21, 1983. This was the last Ball held in the museum's Fair Park building before moving to the new museum in Downtown Dallas.

The Last Hurrah, held on May 21, 1983. This was the last Ball held in the Museum’s Fair Park building before moving to the new building in Downtown Dallas.


These and a few other favorites are currently on view in the Mayer Library, located on the DMA’s M2 level and included in free general admission.

Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.


ARTifacts: Welcome to the Big Top

If you put up an exhibition called The Arts of the Circus, as the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts did in October 1962, it is a no-brainer that the preview party will be its own three-ring circus.

DMCA Director Douglas MacAgy as Ringmaster for "The Arts of the Circus" preview party. Photo credit: Paul Rogers Harris

DMCA Director Douglas MacAgy as Ringmaster for the Arts of the Circus preview party.
Photo credit: Paul Rogers Harris

The party featured clowns, balloons, animal crackers and pink lemonade, a sideshow, fire-eaters, and a baby elephant.

Fire-eater at the preview party for the DMCA's "The Arts of the Circus" exhibition. Photo credit: Paul Rogers Harris

Fire-eater at the preview party for the DMCA’s The Arts of the Circus exhibition. Photo credit: Paul Rogers Harris

Dallas artists Roy Fridge, Nancy Levinson, David McManaway, Herb Rogalla, Peggy Wilson, and Roger Winter created special sideshow banners to complete the circus atmosphere.

Sideshow banners created for "The Arts of the Circus."

Sideshow banners by local artists created for The Arts of the Circus

The exhibition proper included both circus objects and memorabilia, and artworks with a circus-related subject; it was on view at the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts October 9-November 11, 1962.

Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

A DMA Anniversary Game

The DMA was founded on January 19, 1903, which means our 112th birthday is right around the corner. For this year’s anniversary, I have a little game for you.

The Museum has had a few different names and many different logos over its 112 years. Can you match the logo with the year it was used?

The answers are below . . . and no peeking!

A. 1909   B. 1938   C. 1944   D. 1958   E. 1970   F. 1984   G. 1995   H. 2002   I. 2003   J. 2007





























How did you do? Sorry, no prizes, just a virtual gold star from the DMA Archives and bragging rights on your graphic design sense.

Hillary Bober is the Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.


1. E   2. D   3. B   4. G   5. H   6. C   7. A   8. F   9. J   10. I

Christmas Tidings

It is a throwback Thursday Christmas edition on Uncrated. Re-celebrate The Twelve DMA Days of Christmas from the Uncrated 2011 archives.

first day

We hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season, we can’t wait to celebrate the New Year at the DMA with an amazing lineup of exhibitions, programs, and more!

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